Nashville’s anemic offensive attack will get a big bump on Monday night as forward Patric Hornqvist returns to the lineup for the first time since late January.
Hornqvist, 26, had only played in five games this season before a knee injury landed him on injured reserve.
He’s expected to play limited minutes tonight against the Avs in Denver, but his presence alone should help a Predators team that’s averaging a league-low 1.87 goals per game and has only scored seven times in its last five games.
Hornqvist had 1G-3A-4PTS prior to getting hurt and is a three-time 20-goal scorer, potting a career-best 30 in 2009-10.
In other Preds news, it appears as though Pekka Rinne will finally get a night off as backup goalie Chris Mason is scheduled to get the start.
Rinne has been a true workhorse this season, ranking second among all NHL goalies in minutes played (811:30), seventh in shots faced (346) and tied for third in games played (13).
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: